Utah Appellate Highlights, Utah Appeals Court, March 2017

Bresee v. Barton

2016 UT App 220 (Nov. 11, 2016)

In a dispute over water and boundaries, the Utah Court of Appeals upheld an award of attorney fees as a sanction for bad faith in instigating the litigation without an honest belief in its merits.  The court held that a prevailing party under the bad faith litigation statute is able to recover its fees incurred at the appellate level to defend its award of fees in the district court, as well as fees incurred in defense of the original claim.

Carson v. Barnes

2016 UT App 214 (Oct. 27, 2016)

Appealing the grant of a civil stalking injunction, the defendant argued the district court erred in considering an incident involving the defendant brandishing a gun against a non-party with connections to the plaintiff.  Affirming, the Court of Appeals held that the statutory grounds for issuing a civil stalking injunction may include a threat against a business associate, even if the victim was not physically present at the time of the incident.

Mota v. Mota

2016 UT App 201 (Sept. 22, 2016)

In this appeal from the denial of an ex-husband’s motion to dismiss a protective order that his ex-wife had obtained against him, the Utah Court of Appeals considered whether the ex-husband had properly preserved his arguments for appeal.  The ex-husband had failed to object to the commissioner’s recommendation that the protective order remain in place.  The court agreed with the ex-husband that the procedure for filing an objection to a commissioner’s order outlined in Utah R. Civ. P. 108 is optional.  The husband accordingly was not required to file an objection in order to preserve his right to appeal.  But, the failure to file an objection limited the ex-husband’s ability to challenge the factual basis of the commissioner’s decision on appeal.

Kirton McConkie v. ASC Utah

2016 UT App 200 (Sep. 22, 2o16)

This suit involved a dispute over an assignment of the right to receive rental payments.  Wolf Mountain, as payment for attorney fees, had assigned its rights to receive rent from a property in Summit County to Kirton McConkie.  The property was being leased by ASC Utah.  In a separate suit, ASC Utah obtained a $60 million judgment against Wolf Mountain, which ASC Utah then used to set off its rent payments under the lease.  The Court of Appeals held that even though Kirton McConkie’s interest was assigned prior to the setoff, the assignment did not sever the right to receive rent from the other obligations under the lease, so Kirton McConkie’s assignment was subject to ASC Utah’s right to set off the rent.

Olsen v. State

2016 UT App 194, 382 P.3d 679 (Sept. 15, 2016)

The court concluded that the claims procedure provided in the Unclaimed Property Act, Utah Code §§ 67-4a-101 et seq., is the exclusive method for a judgment creditor to obtain a judgment debtor’s unclaimed property that is held by the State.

Case summaries for Appellate Highlights are authored by members of Snow Christensen & Martineau’s Appellate Practice Group.  For more information, visit our Appellate Highlights page.